Latest Issue

Lab report

Research into antimatter, the mirror image of ordinary matter, comes closer to telling us why the universe isn’t empty

By Philip Ball   January 2011

Nobel prize winners Andre Geim (left) and Konstantin Novoselov

Physicists working on a project called Alpha at Cern, the European centre for particle physics near Geneva, recently announced they have made and trapped 38 atoms of antihydrogen, the antimatter counterpart of ordinary hydrogen. Antimatter is the “mirror image” of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and people. The two forms of matter annihilate on contact, converting their mass to energy in a pure expression of the dictum E=mc2. Alpha aims to understand why there is so much more ordinary matter than antimatter. If there weren’t, the two would…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect